Uzbekistan is a country of warmth and light where you can enjoy the clear sunny sky over 300 days a year. The warmth of the sun in Uzbekistan is complemented with the warmth and hospitality of the local people, which gives you the great feeling of comfort and coziness. The Uzbeks are famous for their hospitality but you can understand what a guest means for the Uzbeks only when you sit at a feast table prepared in your honor in an Uzbek home.
Uzbekistan boasts very diverse terrains and natural attractions. They are the impressive sand dunes of the Kyzylkum Desert; they are various plain and alpine lakes, steppes and green oases; they are the majestic mountains of the Tien Shannot far from Tashkent, with their breathtaking landscapes and healing resorts, with thousands of streams feeding the great rivers of Amudarya and Syrdarya; they are fertile valleys with orchards and gardens yielding the tastiest Uzbek fruit and vegetables, melons and grapes; they are numerous cotton fields… There is also a number of most interesting nature reserves with their unique flora and fauna in the country.
Uzbekistan is also a country of world-famous historic cities and sites of ancient settlements with their most impressive architectural monuments. During its long and rich history, the predecessors of today’s Uzbekistan experienced a lot of everything. They were involved in the growth and decline of the world’s most powerful empires of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane; they suffered from a lot of wars and massacres – and enjoyed outstanding blossoms of art and science. They were crossroads of civilizations’ interaction for centuries where various cultures met and exchanged their values; thousands of caravans crossed these lands along the Great Silk Road connecting the Middle East, Mediterranean and Europe with India and China. Foreign achievements became part of the local culture then, complemented it. Uzbek traditional cuisine, for example, adopted and modified recipes foreign merchants once shared with the locals.
Today’s Uzbekistan has a developed tourism infrastructure with various services provided. An excellent holiday in the country can be spent depending on income and preferences: you can stay either in a five-star hotel or in a modest traditional Uzbek guesthouse; you can opt for an exciting adventure tour (jeep safari, skiing and heli-skiing, paragliding, mountain hiking and climbing, etc.), a beach leisure stay, a guided sightseeing tour, etc.
Almost two-thirds of the country’s territory is desert and steppes; the rest part of it is mountains, valleys and oases.
Uzbekistan consists of 12 provinces and an autonomous republic (The Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, also spelled Qaraqalpaqstan).
Population: over 29 million (2012 estimate): urbanites – 37%, and rural population – 63%. The density is 60/km². The ethnic structure: Uzbeks – 80%, Russians – 5.5%, Tajiks – 5%, Kazakhs – 5%, Karakalpaks – 2%, Tatars – 1.5%.
Government: Uzbekistan is a presidential republic whereby the President of Uzbekistan is both head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Legislative Chamber and Senate.
The capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent, with a population of over 2.5 million. Tashkent is the only Central Asian city which has an underground railway system (Tashkent Metro). Its stations are probably among the world’s most beautiful.
Electric power: 220 V AC, 50 А; CEE 7 standards 2-pin plugs and sockets.
Traveling about Uzbekistan is possible at any time of the year but the best periods to come are from March to July and from September to October inclusive. The period from the end of June to mid-August, called chilla by the locals, is the hottest: the day temperature frequently rises to 40°C and even higher in some parts of the country. Autumn is warm and abundant in agricultural produce; the bazaars are full of a wide variety of cheap and quality fruits, vegetables and cucurbit crops. At the end of November the day temperature may still remain around 10°С. Although the average winter temperatures are not far below zero, they may occasionally drop to around minus 15° in the cities and lower in the mountains and the steppe areas. Showers, rains and snows in spring, autumn and winter are occasional; they are less frequent and shorter than in Europe, for instance.
Suitable clothing for travels about Uzbekistan differs as to the season. Clothes made of cotton and other natural textiles will be the best choice in warm and hot weather. You will feel best in T-shirts, light and loose trousers, shorts, or sundresses. Remember that your footwear must be comfortable, light and strong, since you will have to walk over rough ground surfaces at times. Sunglasses, light headwear and sunblock lotion should also be kept handy.
If you travel early in spring (March to the beginning of April) or at the end of autumn (October to November), it is advisable to take a windbreaker, a sweater or a similar garment. In winter the day temperature may sometimes fall to minus 10°С – 25°С (depending on the location), so a raincoat, a warm coat, a warm hat or a knit cap will be necessary.
If you plan to visit the mountains, steppe area or the desert, note that the difference between the day and night temperatures there is considerable, so have warm clothes to change into at night.
You should be considerate towards the local traditions, culture and religion. While visiting religious sites, women should wear loose garments covering most of their arms and legs, and of course the cleavage. Headscarves will also be advisable to put on. Note that you will have to take off your shoes while entering some of the sacred places where people pray.
Uzbek traditional cuisine is probably the best in Central Asia. It adopted and modified recipes foreign merchants once shared with the locals during the Silk Road times.
The most popular Uzbek dishes are the following: pilaf, laghman, samsa, shurpa, manti, nahud, and shashlik.
• Pilaf (osh in Uzbek) is Uzbekistan’s signature dish. It is made of rice cooked in stock with oil, meat, spices, and carrots. Every Uzbek region has its own unique pilaf recipe.
• Laghman (also lagman) is dough noodles in gravy with small pieces of meat and vegetables. The dish was adopted from China and modified.
• Samsa is a triangular or rectangular pasty filled with meat, onion and little piece of broadtail fat, or with chopped potatoes or pumpkin. Samsa pasties are baked in Uzbek traditional clay oven tandir.
• Shurpa is a soup with mutton chunks and vegetables.
• Manti is steamed Uzbek dumplings with meat and potato fillings or pumpkin fillings – all with little broadtail fat pieces, onion and spices (cumin and pepper).
• Nahud is braised chickpeas (garbanzos) and mutton.
• Shashlik is Uzbek shish kebab made from a variety of meats and having a lot of recipes.
Various Uzbek flat breads baked in tandir clay ovens are also extremely popular.
If you need any special diet during your tour in the country, please advise us of it in advance.
Our tours come with accommodation and breakfasts. If you wish, we can additionally reserve tables for you in local restaurants. If you want to make reservations yourself, the information on how much food will cost you in the country is below. Note that the following prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location and vendor.
|Coffee/Tea:||1 – 3|
|Cold drink:||1- 2|
|Beer:||1 – 2|
|Lunch (two courses, salad):||5 – 25|
|Dinner (two courses, salad + dessert):||10 – 25|
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